The gig poster we’re featuring this week was created for the third incarnation of the interdisciplinary festival Freedom From and Freedom To, curated by artist and teacher Cristal Sabbagh and hosted by Elastic Arts. The first and second events, held in September and December of 2019, were both single-night affairs, but the third will stretch out into two jam-packed evenings of improvisational music and dance. Previously Sabbagh had asked audience members to pick artists’ names from a bag before each performance, in order to determine who would improvise together on the spot, but this year there won’t be an in-person audience: Freedom From and Freedom To will be livestreamed via the Elastic Arts website and Twitch channel, in deference to COVID-19 concerns. A $10 donation is suggested.
Each night of Freedom From and Freedom To will consist of two 30-minute sets of improvised work. Sabbagh says she’s developed a new method to randomize the groupings of performers: “We adapted, and my eight-year-old son just picked the names out of bags for the sets today on Instagram live.” Her son had a lot of people to pair up: dancers Lorene Bouboushian, Keisha Janae, Ed Clemons, Carole McCurdy, Erin Peisert, Michael Strode, Sara Zalek, and Sabbagh herself, as well as improvising musicians Angel Bat Dawid, Johanna Brock, Olivia Harris, Ramah Malebranche, Janice Misurell-Mitchell, Luc Mosley, Ugochi Nwaogwugwu, Julian Otis, Scott Rubin, Eli Sabbagh, Jefferey Thomas, and Adam Zanolini.
To participate, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, contact information, and your original design or drawing (you can attach a JPG or PNG file or provide a download link). We won’t be able to publish everything we receive, but we’ll feature as many as possible. Your e-mail should include details about the real or fantasy concert and about any nonprofit, fundraiser, or action campaign that you’d like to bring to the attention of our readers.
Not everybody can make a gig poster, of course, but it’s simple and free to take action through the website of the National Independent Venue Association–click here to tell your representatives to save our homegrown music ecosystems. And anybody with a few bucks to spare can support the out-of-work staffers at Chicago’s venues–here’s our list of fundraisers. Lastly, don’t forget record stores! The Reader has published a list of local stores that will let you shop remotely.
ARTIST: Cristal Sabbagh with design input from Natalya Sturlis and Scott Rubin
GIG: Freedom From and Freedom To, livestreamed via the Elastic Arts website and Twitch channel on Sat 8/22 and Sun 8/23 at 7 PM
MORE INFO: ffftchicago.com
FUNDRAISER TO KNOW: The Elastic Arts Resilient Expression Fund supports community performers and artists who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.